Health authorities in Malawi have confirmed a new case of polio, bringing the total number of cases to five since the disease was first confirmed in a patient in the capital, Lilongwe, in February 2022.
Local media reported the new case Friday, quoting Director of Health and Social Services for the Southern District of Blantyre Gift Kawalazira, who identified the new patient as a 14-year-old girl from the district.
The girl presented to one of the health facilities in the district with paralysis in December but her condition has just been confirmed as polio, he said.
Kawalazira assured the public that the situation will be contained as the country managed to vaccinate around 3 million children in 2022.
"We managed to vaccinate more children through polio vaccination campaigns that were conducted throughout the country," he said. "So this should not be a cause for an alarm."
Malawi recorded the first polio case in February 2022, three decades after the country was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992 to have eradicated the disease.
In October 2022, Malawi confirmed three more cases, bringing the total number of cases to four.
Since the first case was reported, Malawi, with the support from partners including UNICEF, has been conducting nationwide vaccination campaigns targeting around 3 million children.
The vaccination was conducted in three rounds, and the third one was in August 2022.